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On Capillaria hepatica lifecycle and effects on human health - Research Paper Example

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It was primarily classified as a parasite of rodents. However, this nematode is infective in mammals including humans. In humans, it causes capillariasis which is characterized by liver…
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Research Paper on Capillaria hepatica lifecycle and effects on human health
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Capillaria hepatica is a nematode that causes hepatic capillariasis in several mammals. Rodents were the first host to be described with the infection. Later on, it was discovered that the parasite can infect various mammals including humans (Calle, 1991). Rodents are highly infectious explaining for the global spread of the infection. It has been reported in various countries with China having the highest prevalence of the disease. Until 2000, about 37 cases of human infections have been reported worldwide (Li & Hui-Lin, 2010). The symptoms are nonspecific thus, majority of the cases are misdiagnosed. The parasite causes hepatica capillariasis which is a serious infection of the liver. This occurs both in humans and animals.
The adult parasite takes the typical shape of a nematode. The anterior part of the body is narrow while the posterior is broad. The adult female measures about 60 mm long by about 0.20 mm wide and the male is about half as long (Bancroft, 1893). The esophagus occupies about half the body length the females and males a third. The eggs are tapered at the poles. They measure about 0.51- 0.68 mm by 0.30-0.35 mm; resembling those of Trichuris trichura. The dorsal part of the parasite has a copulatory sheath and spicule (Attah & Nagarajan, 1983). Humans get infected following the ingestion of food and water contaminated with the embryonated eggs.
The parasite requires only one host to mature from the eggs to the adult. The adult parasite lives in the liver of the host where they lay eggs in the parenchyma. The eggs are not excreted in stool rather they remain dormant until the host dies or the liver is eaten by a predator. These eggs are unembryonated thus are not infectious. They are passed through feces where they are embryonated in the environment (Cox, 1993). Cannibalism plays a vital role in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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